Medical Training

Undergraduate Medical Education

In 2015, a new Cancer Biology course in the basic science of cancer was added to the first-semester curriculum in the Perelman School of Medicine. This course emphasizes the basic cell biology behind recent advances in cancer detection and therapy, as well as introducing fundamental concepts underlying chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Additional training in cancer pathology and treatment is provided through the second-semester Mechanisms of Disease and Therapeutic Intervention course, in addition to subsequent extensive training in organ-specific neoplasia.

Additional cancer-related training and research opportunities in Epidemiology and Statistics are provided to first-year medical students through the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB).

Graduate Medical Education

Graduate Medical Education at the University of Pennsylvania and affiliated hospitals provides residency and fellowship training in over 75 ACGME-accredited specialties and subspecialties, including oncology specialties, in a region that leads the nation in providing quality health care. We commit ourselves to offering high quality graduate medical education training programs that provide our residents and fellows the opportunity to become fully proficient in their chosen specialties, with emphasis on their intellectual, professional, scholarly and personal growth. We are deeply committed to a supportive clinical environment that fosters graduate medical education training of the highest quality and that is attentive to patient safety and health care quality improvement, provides appropriate supervision, is supportive of duty hour policies, fatigue management and fatigue mitigation, and professionalism.

Oncology Fellowships

  • Hematology/Oncology: The hematology/oncology fellowship program at Penn is designed to provide our trainees with the tools they need to pursue lifelong careers characterized by excellence, innovation and commitment. It is the aim of the division to ensure those who complete our training become leaders in the field of hematology/oncology, whether they pursue careers in clinical, population science or bench research. Every member of the division is dedicated to the education and career development of its fellows. Penn fellows have the opportunity to train in a broad array of basic science laboratories across a diverse and groundbreaking campus that includes departments and schools throughout the Abramson Cancer Center and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and The Wistar Institute.

  • Radiation Oncology: Resident rotations are broken down into 2-3 month blocks by disease sites. The majority of the rotations are a one resident, one attending model. In addition to the core, site-specific blocks (Lung, Breast, GI, Lymphoma, Pediatrics, Gyn, Head & Neck, GU and CNS), residents also rotate at the Philadelphia VA Hospital and Pennsylvania Hospital with the opportunity to treat a mix of all disease sites at one time. Additionally, residents in the department are provided with one year of elective time during their training. Most commonly our residents have used this time to pursue academic research within the department. However, many of our residents have used this time to pursue advanced research training, or to gain clinical experience outside of the department.

  • Neuro-oncology: The Division of Neuro-oncology offers 1 or 2-year fellowship positions. The program provides comprehensive clinical training in the diagnosis and management of adults with primary nervous system tumors and neurologic complications of systemic cancer (metastatic and non-metastatic). The University of Pennsylvania participates in the New Approaches to Brain Tumor Therapy Consortium (NABTT) and training will provide a full understanding of and participation in the clinical trial process. The program is flexible to meet the specific interests of the fellow and can include rotations through Pediatric Neuro-oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Neurosurgery, Neuroradiology, Radiation Oncology, and Neuro-pathology; rotations in other subspecialties can be arranged. Research opportunities in the second year are available based in the fellow’s interest.

  • Gynecological oncology: The clinical, laboratory, and teaching experiences that comprise the Gynecological Oncology Fellowship allows fellows to learn the full spectrum techniques involved in the study of gynecologic cancers and their treatment. Fellows can engage in any of approximately 35 prospective clinical trials involving the chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery of gynecologic cancer currently open at the Abramson Cancer Center.

  • Head and neck cancer surgery: The Head and Neck Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania is a clinically oriented 12-month experience, designed to provide advanced training in all aspects of the care of the head and neck cancer patient. Fellows are be mentored by the full-time head and neck faculty, as well as by a team comprised of medical oncologists, radiation oncologist, pathologists, and radiologists at both the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Hospital. Fellows work closely in the operating room with the supervising attending surgeons, and actively participate in the training of residents. The fellow is involved in both ablative and reconstructive aspects of patient care. Comprehensive management of the patient is emphasized, and the fellow will be involved in the initial consults, preoperative visits, tumor board discussions, and postoperative care of the patients. This continuity of care allows for a better understanding of the full process of cancer management.

  • Breast cancer surgery: The University of Pennsylvania Breast fellowship offers a diverse program in the management of breast diseases that will lead to clinical competence in all facets of breast biology. The program is based in the Rena Rowan Breast Center and offers an internationally recognized faculty in treatment of clinical breast diseases with programs in Breast imaging including Breast MRI, Breast Surgery, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Breast Cancer Genetics, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Breast pathology.

  • Dermatology - micrographic surgery and dermatological oncology: The fellowship has an especially strong focus on cutaneous oncology and reconstructive surgery. Our goal is to prepare fellows to manage the most complex tumors, to perform complex reconstructive surgery, and to organize multidisciplinary care, when necessary. Although fellows will gain knowledge and experience in cosmetic procedures, applicants whose primary interest lies in cosmetic surgery should not apply to this program. The fellow gains expertise in the cutaneous oncologic surgery, including the medical, surgical, and dermatopathological knowledge of cutaneous neoplasms, reconstructive surgery, and cosmetic surgery.